Tourney Time: Teams Clash To #RaiseTheCup
Links associated with this release:
2016 Men's Soccer Tournament Central
2016 Men's Soccer Release No. 11
The battle to #RaiseTheCup begins Saturday with first round action in the Big West Men's Soccer Tournament as UC Riverside travels to Sacramento State and UC Davis journeys to Cal State Fullerton.
#BWCMSOC | #RaiseTheCup
Big West Tournament – First Round Part I
The quest for the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, bestowed upon the winner of the Big West Tournament, begins this Saturday with a pair of first round games. South No. 3 seed UC Riverside travels to North No. 2 seed Sacramento State in one battle.
• Sacramento State is hosting its first Big West Tournament game in school history, in only its second overall appearance. The Hornets lost in the 2014 first round.
• UC Riverside is seeking its first conference tournament victory after going winless in three previous appearances, with losses in the 2014 semifinals (first round bye), 2013 first round and 2011 semifinals (4 team tourney).
• In the regular season meeting between these two squads, UCR came away with a 2-0 victory in Sacramento. Tyler Miguel and Emilio Huerta scored the goals and Vincent Morales made two saves for the shutout, despite the Hornets owning the 15-8 shots advantage.
Big West Tournament – First Round Part II
The remaining first round matchup pits a pair of familiar foes against each other as North No. 3 seed UC Davis visits South No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton.
• These two programs have met twice before in the Big West Tournament – the Titans won in the 2014 first round and the Aggies earned a 2-0 shutout in the 2012 semifinals.
• CSF is the two-time defending tournament champion under head coach George Kuntz. No Big West program has ever won three consecutive titles since the tournament began in 2008.
• The Aggies are making their sixth straight appearance in the Big West Tournament, the longest current string of any conference member. UC Davis is seeking its first tournament title. The furthest the program advanced was the 2012 final.
• In the regular season meeting, UC Davis blanked the Titans by a 3-0 score behind goals from Kristian Heptner, Miguel Acevedo and Kyle Higgins. It was one of only two times that the Titans got blanked in conference play.
The Kuntz Factor
Cal State Fullerton head coach George Kuntz is 12-1-1 all-time in the Big West Tournament, and has won six of the eight titles. He won four at UC Irvine (2008, 2009, 2011, 2013) and two more in his first two seasons roaming the sidelines of Titan Stadium.
UC Santa Barbara, which clinched its fourth consecutive North Division championship, is the No. 1 seed and awaits the winner of the Davis-Fullerton game. The Gauchos host a semifinal matchup on Wednesday, Nov. 9. South Division champion and No. 1 seed CSUN hosts the winner of Sacramento State-UC Riverside on Nov. 9.
The championship game is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12. If the two teams in the championship game have the same seed, the game will be hosted by the team that has the best record against the opposite division. If still tied, a coin flip will determine the host of the championship game.